OnePlus launches the OnePlus 8 Series with all in 5G support

Back in 2013, OnePlus emerged as a startup that made cheap but powerful flagship phones. Over the years, the company made commendable progress, winning the trust of enthusiasts and consumers all over the globe. OnePlus also started to take on major smartphone players by launching high-quality flagship phones with competitive price tags. OnePlus is a #1 premium smartphone brand in certain markets. Unlike other smartphone makers, OnePlus follows a half-year refresh cycle, which helps the company keep up-to-date with the latest hardware and always in headlines in the smartphone world. OnePlus has truly been sticking to its slogan – NEVER SETTLE

OnePlus was one of the first manufacturers to get on-board with 5G. Over the past couple of years, the company has been launching 5G variants of its ‘Pro’ version of devices. OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, followed by OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren Edition, was the company’s first 5G devices. Prior one had availability in Europe, while the latter one was available in the USA. Both phones used Qualcomm’s initial 5G modem, the Snapdragon X50, and cost around $300 more than their LTE counterparts. As OnePlus has prepared itself very well when it comes to the new wireless technology, the company decided to go with ‘all in 5G’ with its new smartphone lineup – the OnePlus 8 series.

OnePlus 8 Pro (Source: OnePlus website)

Both members of 8 Series – OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are equipped with Qualcomm’s improved Snapdragon X55 as a 5G modem and Snapdragon 865 as SoC. Both phones support standalone as well as non-standalone modes of 5G with multiple bands on the sub-6 GHz spectrum. However, there’s a catch! mmWave flavor of 5G is exclusive to Verizon in the USA and only on OnePlus 8 (not Pro!), as per the current information shared by the company. Peak theoretical 5G speeds on both phones will be upto 7.5 Gbps in the downlink.

OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition 5G speed test on Verizon

On the spec-sheet, OnePlus 8 Pro is a complete all-rounder with QHD+ AMOLED display that has refresh rate of 120 Hz. It is packed with up to 12 gigs of RAM and up to 256 gigs of internal storage, 4510 mAh battery with 30W fast charging or Warp Chart 30T as OnePlus calls it. For the first time, OnePlus has included wireless charging and IP68 rating for water resistance on both its phones. OnePlus 8 Pro has been loaded with an array of 4 cameras on its back and a single punch-hole secondary camera on the front. All these premium features make 8 Pro a complete flagship.

As a matter of fact, we can’t ignore that OnePlus has dropped its badge of ‘value for money’ and ‘budget’ smartphone maker at the cost of all these features including 5G as OnePlus 8 Pro starts at $899 and OnePlus 8 starts at $699. Perhaps, we can hope for a future price drop as 5G technology becomes widely available and more abundant.

Oppo tests VoNR (Voice over 5G NR) calls on Reno 3

The cellular industry has been prioritizing broadband data over traditional phone calls since the 4G era. Many of the CSPs across the world are still using CSFB (Circuit-switched Fallback) when it comes to traditional phone calls. CSFB allows the LTE network to automatically switch to a circuit-switched network like 3G or 2G when a phone call or SMS is there. This has led to comparatively delayed and uncoordinated launches of VoLTE (Voice over LTE) service. VoNR (Voice over New Radio) is the answer of 5G to high-quality and crystal-clear and voice and video calls. Just like VoLTE, VoNR will solely rely on packet-switched 5G network for voice and video calls. VoNR also offers significantly lower latency for calls.

OPPO Reno3

As per a recent press-release from Oppo, the company has used Mediatek’s Dimensity 1000 SoC for VoNR testing with Reno3 5G phone. The modified version of the device was used for testing. This test was conducted in a 5G SA (standalone) network environment in collaboration with Ericsson. As per the observations mentioned in the press release, the two phones connected ‘almost instantly’ after dialing and switched with the high-definition video quality with a single tap.

While the VoNR functionality is currently limited to Mediatek Dimensity 1000 chip, Qualcomm has plans to support VoNR in its third-generation 5G modem – Snapdragon X60 with devices launching around 2021.

Apple might delay 5G iPhones amid coronavirus fears

As the world is already in the full-blown panic over the coronavirus disease – COVID-19, many tech events have been cancelled or postponed. With numerous travel restrictions and risks, many companies are asking employees to work from home instead of offices. This epidemic has also been impacting severely on the tech industry in 2020.

iPhone 12 concept image

Apple’s iPhones are usually announced in the mid-September. Since the COVID-19 epidemic has severe impact on iPhone’s supply chain the production of iPhone 12 is on hold. Back in February, Apple has stopped sending iPhone engineers to China which has stalled the prototype testing for iPhone 12.

Although the mass production of iPhone 12 is not expected to start until July, the phone is still stuck in Engineering Validation Test phase. Hence, the September release is looking highly unlikely and the same will be delayed by at least a month. We expect it to be pushed back to October/November. Perhaps, we still expect that iPhone 9/SE 2 and the new lineup of iPad Pros to be announced in March and release dates in April with limited supply.